Mike Keiser first came to notice with the phenomal success of his business Recycled Greeting Cards.
It put him in the position of being able to pursue other interests..
Being a keen golfer, that opportunity soon came when he employed Dick Nugent to build Dunes Club near his holiday house in New Buffalo
Keiser loved Scottish links golf and saw an opportunity to bring links golf to America
He scoured the country for a suitable site and eventually settled on sandy terrain on the ocean near North Bend in Oregon.
Keiser overlooked America's 'name' architects and instead chose an inexperienced young Scottish architect named David Maclay Kidd to design a genuine links course at Bandon Dunes
Keiser had the experience of building Dunes Club so he had a taste for the build- but it was a huge risk
Bandon Dunes was remote and both Keiser and the architect were relatively inexperienced.
Bandon Dunes opened for play in 1999 and straight away golfers flocked to play true links golf in America
Such was the success that Keiser catered for the growing demand by immediately building a second course at Bandon.
In 2001 Tom Doak's Pacific Dunes opened and was instantly acclaimed as one of the best courses in the world
Bandon Trails by Coore & Crenshaw followed in 2005- and remarkably all three courses were regarded as being world top 100 standard.
And still demand grew!
Mike Keiser added Old MacDonald by Tom Doak in 2010, a thirteen hole par 3 course by Coore & Crenshaw in 2012 called The Preserve, and finally The Sheep Ranch by Coore & Crenshaw in 2020
Bandon Dunes Resort now boasts five world class links courses, an amazing par 3 course, fantastic putting greens and practice facilities, a variety of dining and accommodation options and the best pro shops anywhere.
Bandon Dunes is the best golf resort in the world, in my opinion!
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw began a very successful partnership with Mike Keiser when they built Bandon Trails in 2005.
In the fifteen years following they have added 6 more courses to the Kieser portfolio: Bandon Preserve (par 3), Cabot Cliffs, Sand Valley, The Sandbox (par 3), Sheep Ranch, and now Cabot St Lucia
Bandon Trails was the third course at the Bandon Dunes Resort and arguably the land was not as spectacular as that of the Kidd & Doak courses.
Whilst the first two courses occupied some spectacular coastal territory, The Bandon Trails course transitions from sand dunes to low lying meadows framed by native vegetation, to woodlands of towering fir and spruce trees, and back to to finish in the dunes.
Bandon Trails offers a nice contrast to the coastal courses and some respite when conditions are wild on the coast.
I regard Bandon Trails as second only to Pacific Dunes in the pecking order at Bandon.
In my view there's not much between Bandon Dunes, Old Mac, Sheep Ranch & Trails- they are all world class courses
The trademark Coore & Crenshaw bunkering is a real feature on Trails, and I particualrly liked some of the fariway bunkering.
It's strategic, but has a natural flair that makes it memorable.
The transitions between changing terrains adds interest but it is the dunes holes that really standout in my opinion.
Notable holes include:
- hole 1, a classy par 4 opener in the dunes (see pic top of page)
- hole 2, a downhill par 3 to a green set in the dunes. Wind and elevation change make club selection vital
- hole 3, a really interesting par 5 which transitions from the dunes to meadowland. The fairway bunkering keeps you on your toes and is the key feature (see pic mid page)
- hole 5, is a unique short par 3 over a barranca to a severely undulating green. It's a daunting hole with the pin forward.
- hole 8, is a driveable par 4. Decisions need to be made on the tee
- hole 11, is a strong par 4 with water right of the green
- hole 14 is another driveable par 4. It's a scary little hole with lots of elevation change from tee to green and from one side of the fairway to the other. A poorly place tee shot can leave a blind approach to a severe green
- hole 17, is a delightful short par 3 back in the sand dunes
Bandon Trails is a world class course and mandatory for any visit to Bandon Dunes Resort.
We rate it a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf tour for your group.
Suggested itineraries can be found at Golf Destinations: Bandon Dunes Resort
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